Hosni Mubarak: Egypt court drops murder charges over 2011 killings




A court in Egypt has dropped charges against former President Hosni Mubarak over the killing of 239 protesters during the 2011 uprising against him.

The Cairo courtroom erupted in cheers when the judge concluded Mubarak's retrial by dismissing the case.
Charges against seven of Mubarak's senior officials, including his interior minister, were also dropped.
Mubarak, 86, is serving a separate three-year sentence for embezzlement of public funds.
Mubarak, his former Interior Minister, Habib al-Adly, and six others had been convicted of conspiracy to kill and were sentenced to life in prison in June 2012, but a retrial was ordered last year on a technicality.
In all, some 800 people are thought to have been killed as security forces battled protesters in the weeks before Mubarak resigned on 11 February 2011.



Mubarak waves as he is wheeled out of the court after the ruling



Some anti-Mubarak demonstrators outside the Cairo court were distraught



Cheering supporters brandished old portraits of Mubarak outside the Cairo military hospital where he is being held



One woman wore a T-shirt of the deposed leader

However, the court documents at the trial related to the deaths of 239 people and injuries sustained by 1,588, across 11 of the country's regions.
As well as the murder charge, Mubarak was also cleared of a corruption charge involving gas exports to Israel.
His sons Gamal and Alaa were also cleared of separate corruption charges by the same court on Saturday.


The courtroom erupted in cheers as the judge dismissed the case

As supporters cheered the verdict, his sons and co-defendants stooped down to kiss his forehead.
Mubarak's lawyer, Farid al-Deeb, told AFP news agency the verdict was a "good ruling that proved the integrity of Mubarak's era".
Later in a TV interview by phone Mubarak said he had done "nothing wrong at all", AFP news agency reported.


At the scene: BBC's Orla Guerin in Cairo

Outside the police academy that used to bear his name, supporters and opponents of the former president gathered to hear the verdict - separated by police and a few layers of barricades. Hawkers stood on the sidelines offering Mubarak memorabilia.
The Mubarak faithful held aloft portraits of their former leader, calling for him to be acquitted. The former president, who had been brought in on a stretcher as usual, allowed himself a slight smile. Supporters hugged each other and danced in the streets. One woman told us it was the best moment of her life. "We always knew he was innocent," she said.
A short distance away bereaved relatives held photos of loved ones killed by the security forces during the revolution of 2011. Several of them had been demanding Mubarak's execut1on. When they heard the news, huddled around a car radio, one man collapsed, and started banging his head with his hands.
Almost four years after Hosni Mubarak was swept from power, many Egyptians have lost interest in the fate of their former leader.
The verdict means no-one has been held responsible for the killing of more than 800 protesters during the 2011 revolution. It is as if the dead committed mass suicide, said one Egyptian journalist on Twitter.

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